About this Show

Public Affairs

News News/Business.

NETWORK

DURATION
03:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 17 (141 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 40, China 35, America 21, North Korea 20, Afghanistan 19, U.s. 18, United States 14, India 13, Asia 9, California 8, Pentagon 5, Samsung 5, Kandahar 5, Taiwan 5, Oregon 5, Bera 4, Iraq 4, Washington 4, Syria 4, Kabul 4,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    March 20, 2013
    5:00 - 8:00pm EDT  

5:00pm
5:01pm
5:02pm
5:03pm
5:04pm
5:05pm
5:06pm
5:07pm
5:08pm
5:09pm
5:10pm
5:11pm
5:12pm
5:13pm
5:14pm
5:15pm
5:16pm
5:17pm
5:18pm
the chair: on this vote the yeas are 165. the nays are 253. the amendment is not agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. price: i ask that the committee do now rise. the chair: those in favor will signify by saying aye. those opposed, no.
5:19pm
in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. accordingly, the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union having ad under consideration h.con.res 25 -- the speaker pro tempore: the chairman of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration house concurent resolution 25 and has come to no resolution thereon. the question is on the motion -- for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. price: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous
5:20pm
consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the house will be in order.
5:21pm
the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. members will take your conversations off the floor please. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to order. members will please take their conversations off the floor. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute peeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania ise? mr. speaker, i
5:22pm
ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cartwright: i introduce the national fab lab network of 2013. i introduce this bill because america needs a well-trained work force for advanced manufacturing. when i go home, people ask me, where are the jobs? but when i talk to anufacturing groups -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house will come to order. members will take your conversations off the floor. the gentleman will resume. >> people ask me, where are the jobs? but when i talk to manufacturing groups, like the tooling and manufacturing association in illinois, they tell me there's a mismatch between job openings and students and workers with the right skills to fill them. mr. foster: fab labs can help bridge that skills gap. fab labs are workshops equipped with computer controlled
5:23pm
machine tools that help children and adults to build almost anything. the first fab lab was started at m.i.t. and they have spread worldwide. my bill will create a federal charter for a nonprofit organization called the national fab lab network. it will be enjoyed by little league baseball or the veterans of foreign wars. my bill would help american manufacturers fill job openings and encourage students to become more active in stem fields all at no cost to taxpayers. i ask my colleagues to join me in support of this initiative and to co-sponsor the national fab lab network act of 2013. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time has expired. thank you. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker,
5:24pm
science is beginning to prevail in the debate over america's natural gas revolution and it's time to begin telling the real story what it means for all americans. just seven years ago america was facing the fact that we would have to import an increasing amount of natural gas to fulfill our domestic demand. today new technologies have enabled us to access previously inaccessible energy resources, and almost overnight america's energy resource picture flipped from deficit to surplus. in the past five years we've become stronger as a nation through the developed of these god-given resources. as a result we are more competitive. from low income to the high tax brackets, everyone is benefiting. the future's bright but only if we educate the half truths and begin telling the real story of america's natural gas revolution. the stories about technology, private sector innovation, investment, financial risk, thousands of new jobs, new competition, new growth, a growing and better standard of living for more americans,
5:25pm
lower energy costs, new industries, a revitalized energy sector, more jobs, more growth, energy security and optimism. this is the story of america's natural gas revolution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for ne minute. >> mr. speaker, the ryan budget once again places the burden of deficit reduction on working americans while failing to stop the frivolous spending of oil subsidies for companies that cost americans billions of dollars every year. ms. duckworth: i'm concerned that it will end the guarantee of medicare for hardworking americans who've paid into it. medicare was created precisely because the private market
5:26pm
failed to provide seniors with affordable and quality health care. even if senior citizens are able to find decent health insurance, they would still have to pay $1,000 more a year for prescription drugs after the ryan budget reopens the doughnut hole. overall, their budget will force seniors to pay $59,500 more in health care costs during their retirement. my neighbors, who work so hard to pay their mortgages and send their children to college, can't afford to spend another $59,500. rather than ramming through a partisan budget that will never become law, i encourage congress to work together on a budget that can preserve medicare, reduce the deficit and grow our economy. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. thompson of california for today.
5:27pm
the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request s granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from california, mr. bera, is recognized as 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. bera: mr. speaker, thank you for that recognition. thank you for this time. mr. speaker, over the past several weeks, i've been talking to my constituents, i've been talking to former patients about the importance medicare and how medicare has impacted their lives, how they've relied on it. you know, as a doctor, i've taken care of thousands of patients, patients who've worked their whole life paying into a system so that they could rest easy at a time when they needed their health care.
5:28pm
hey -- they needed their health care they wouldn't have to worry about it. this is a program that has served millions of americans for decades. they've come to rely on medicare. it is a program that works. it is a program that we've come to rely on as doctors. you know, let me even make it a little bit more personal than that. let me tell you the story about my parents, who came here as immigrants over 50 years ago. my mom was a public school teacher. dad was an engineer and small business owner. they got up every day. they went to work. they paid into a system over a lifetime so that when they needed their health care they could rest easy. they knew they had a medicare system. let me even make it more personal. over these past few years, my dad is in his late 70's, you know, he's needed knee
5:29pm
replacements. he was able to get them. his doctor was able to order the care that was necessary to take care of him. you know, a few months ago, my mom suffered a mild stroke. my dad didn't have to hesitate about whether she could get health care or not. my dad could pick up the phone, call 911 and get her to the hospital. she was able to get the care that was necessary, that millions of americans count on. her doctor was able to come and see her. her doctor was able to order he postoperative care that was necessary. hat is why millions of americans rely on medicare, so they can rest easy at a time when they need that security of health care. it is a system that works.
5:30pm
it is a system that working men and women in america pay into over their lifetime so that when they're at their most vulnerable they're able to get the care that they need. let me share one more story with you. as a young intern training in internal medicine as a doctor, one of my first patients was a roman catholic priest, father mike. first month i was working in the hospital and doing my rounds in the intensive care unit. father mike was afflicted with l.s., more commonly known as lou gehrig's disease. father mike would come in and out of the hospital and be sick. for those of you who know about
5:31pm
this disease, it is a progressive disease that takes away your muscles and ability to breathe. so over the course of two years, i would see father mike repeatedly coming in and out of the intensive care unit. he needed that care to keep him alive. without medicare, he wouldn't have been able to afford the care. now let's ask ourselves as americans, what are our values. our values are that we take care of our seniors and take care of our parents and grandparents and want to honor them after a lifetime of work. those are who we are, those are our morals as americans. and that is why i'm on the floor of the house of representatives today to talk about how important medicare is, not only for my parents, but for parents throughout this country,
5:32pm
grandparents throughout this country and the next generation that is currently paying into the system. i'm not lean. my fellow colleagues in medicine care about this deeply. with that, i would like to recognize my colleague, dr. ruiz, a fellow physician from alifornia. mr. ruiz: thank you, dr. bera, for yielding. this congress has a responsibility and an opportunity to work together to grow our economy and set this nation on a fiscally responsible path. however, the ryan budget is irresponsible and places the burden of the deficit on hard-working american families and seniors. this plan ends the guarantee of
5:33pm
medicare. and as an e.r. doctor, i know that many of my senior patients are struggling financially and rely on medicare in the moments in their lives when they need it the most. our priority should be reducing health care costs in order to make medicare stronger and more sustainable. but this budget transforms medicare into a voucher program, shifting the costs of health care onto the shoulders of our seniors. and we must, once again, work together to protect and preserve medicare, reduce our deficit and decrease health care costs. i urge my colleagues to come together across party lines and put american families and our seniors first. i yield back my time to dr. era.
5:34pm
mr. bera: thank you, dr. ruiz. i urged americans to share their story. i urged them to share the importance of medicare, how they rely on it, share the stories about your parents and grandparents. i urged the members of this body to share their stories. we all have parents and grandparents. we all care about this program. and we all have stories to tell. you know, just today in my on rectal ad a col cancer survivor visit. she talked about how her cancer was diagnosed early, because she was able to get the preventative care services necessary. she would not have been able to had t had she nod --
5:35pm
access to medicare and basic cancer prevention. that is what is at stake, making sure that our seniors, parents and grandparents have access to that care when they need it the most. that's why i'm on the floor here today, because we have to protect medicare, a program that has worked for decades. it is a program that we rely on. and i want to hear your stories about how we protect medicare and make sure it's there for the generation. this is a program that has worked time and time again. let me even share another story of patients that i have taken care of. you know, i have taken care of hundreds of men and women who do physical labor, construction workers. folks that get up every morning and go to work. they don't make a lot of money,
5:36pm
but they pay into a system. i encourage every american to pull out their pay check and take a look at it and see right on there you are paying into the medicare system, even those that are 25, 30 years old, we are paying into the system. why do we do that? we pay into the system so that when we need our health care, we are able to get it. that's what we do as americans. we know we're in this together, that we care for one another. that is the beauty of why medicare works so well. that i, as i'm working today, am paying to make sure my parents and grandparents have the health care they need. so that when i need that health care in retirement when i'm a senior, i can get it. and i can rest easy and not have to worry about that. that's why we are encouraging you to share your stories and we want to hear your stories about
5:37pm
how medicare has impacted your life and why it is so vital that this body protects medicare and strengthens medicare. share your stories with us on facebook or twitter. i would like to now yield my time to my colleague, the distinguished lady from florida. >> thank you, congressman. ms. frankel: listening to you talk, i have been inspired to share my personal story of my mom. i told the story a few minutes ago, but it's worth repeating, because about 20 years ago, my mom had just reached medicare age. she was a widow on a fixed income and she was diagnosed with breadth can -- breast cancer. i had a young son, he is grown now, but was 13 years old, and
5:38pm
our family was blessed that my mother had medicare and was able to get the good health care she needed and is still with me today. i didn't have to choose between helping my mother with her health care treatment or serving money to send my son to college. and that's the kind of choice, that's the kind of choice americans are going to have under this republican budget, because the republican budget doesn't make seniors healthier, it just shifts the burden. and my district is filled with some people from all walks of life, all different professions, teachers, accountants, they worked hard all their lives and saved up their medicare account so they can live with the comfort now of knowing if they get sick or injured, their
5:39pm
health care that they earned will be there for them, that they will not be a burden on their children. that they will not take the savings that their children have for their grand kids' college education to have to be used for their health care. and so -- it's not enough, it's not enough, congressman bera, for us to say, republican budget is bad, because the fact of the matter is, the american people, my constituents, they want answers. they want us to be problem solvers, not problem creators. they want us to get something done. and the democratic budget gets something done. and just on this issue of health care for our seniors, we secure medicare for this generation and generations to come, because we look and we focus right on what
5:40pm
the problem is, and that has been the growing costs of health care. and just in the affordable health care act, we tackle the problem directly. we reduce overpayments to health care, to insurance carriers. we look for efficiencies in the delivery of health care. we focus on prevention. we make health care more accessible to more people so that when they enter their medicare ages, they're healthier. and so the democratic budget has a solution, a solution to a challenge that all americans recognize today. and so, congressman bera, i want to thank you for allowing me to spend some time to speak not only on behalf of my family, but so many of the families in my district, south florida, who depend on medicare to live full
5:41pm
lives. nd i yield my time back. mr. bera: thank you, congresswoman frankel. i look at this whole issue from the eyes of the doctor. that's how i have to. that's how i was trained as a doctor. one of the first rules that we take when we're sworn in as doctors, the oath and promise that we make is to do good. that is core to what we do and core to what this body needs to understand. this isn't democrats versus republicans. we need to come together to do good for our parents and grandparents, to do good for our seniors, to make sure we honor the promise that we made to them. that after a lifetime of work, that they would be able to get the care that they needed when they needed it the most, that
5:42pm
they could rest easy and not to worry about getting the care that they needed. those are american values. those aren't democrat versus republican. we need to start setting aside that partisanship. and as the oath i took when i became a doctor, and when i was sworn in to the profession of medicine, we need to do good. we need to have the courage to put our patients and the american citizens first. that is what this is about. that is why i'm on the floor today talking as a doctor about the patients that i've cared for. now, i have heard from others that i represent. tina shared a story with me. her father died a few weeks ago, after spending a month in the hospital. medicare meant her family never had to worry about what the cost
5:43pm
of his care was during his illness. medicare meant that her mother doesn't have to live a life in bankruptcy now, that she could rest easy that her husband was able to get the care that he needed. medicare meant that they knew in her father's last days that he was getting good health care, that his doctors were able to give him the care that was necessary at the end of his life. tina has urged me to fight every day to make sure that every family has the same peace and the same support and the same security that her family had and that she felt at a time when her father needed the care. that's what this is about. this is about doing what we do as americans. we care for one another.
5:44pm
we build a system where we're all in this together. for those of us who are working are paying into the system over a lifetime so that the seniors of today are able to get that care. and that we pay it forward. those are our values. those are american values. that's not democrat versus republican. and we've got to get past this. we have to, as we're on this floor, as we're making votes, we have to think about those that came before us, our parents, our grandparents, the seniors that built this country. that is who we are as americans. and that's why we want to hear your stories about why medicare is so important. share those stories with us on facebook. share those stories with us on twitter. let your representatives know why it is so important why you want us to keep fighting for
5:45pm
medicare every day. i would like to hear a story from my colleague, the distinguished the gentlewoman from from the great state of ohio. mrs. beatty: thank you so much, congressman bera. what a great opportunity for me tell my story when i think about medicare and what that means to me. but more importantly, what it means to this nation, what it means to the citizens in the 3rd congressional district that i represent, what it means to someone's mother, someone's grandmother, someone's spouse. medicare is something that was created and seniors have paid into it, oftentimes for a lifetime. and then they get to a point in their life when they want to be able to use something that they paid into. medicare is something that you're going to hear from people
5:46pm
about. i agree with my colleagues that medicare is not nor should it be a democrat or a republican issue. it should be something that when you think about being able to provide health care for the same individuals who put so much money into it that they can now be able to use that. medicare save lives. medicare is part of what i think of as part of the american dream. you see, a few years ago my father was very ill, but it was because of medicare that i was
5:47pm
able to witness him getting quality health care. i'm fortunate. my mother is still living, and like many of my colleagues who have come here today and talked about the wonderful benefit that they had, by being able to know that their parent was being taken care of and they were going to be able to have the quality health care, isn't that something that we all want? isn't that something we want as a democrat? isn't that something we want as a republican? let me tell you what i know the citizens of the third congressional district want. let me tell you what i really believe the citizens of this wonderful country we live in want. i think they want to see us working together. i think they want to hear solutions. i think they want to know that they can trust us because they
5:48pm
sent us here, not to be in gridlock, not for us to be fighting, not for us to be arguing without resolve and that's what democrats are saying to you today. we have taken this issue that touches lives and reaches across america and we are saying it is our responsibility as members of congress, members of this 113th congress that we should make it one of our key responsibilities to stand on this floor and tell those stories, to tell those stories about medicare, to tell those stories about the lady who lives down the street from me and how fortunate she was because medicare saved her
5:49pm
life. we should be able to stand on this floor and give speech after speech to say to america, you sent us here to protect those who are our most fragile citizens, those who have given so much that we stand here. so you see, my story is quite simple about medicare. it's about exercising our right to protect those who paved the way for us. it's about me saying proudly as a democrat, our alternative to the budget as it relates to medicare is the best solution. it's about saying we should not make it a voucher program. it's about saying that we should not take moneys from medicare and give to other companies that don't need it. you see, it's quite simple.
5:50pm
it's a story about saving lives. it's a story about doing all the things we say as public servants. it's about the oath we took as an elected official that we would serve our communities, that we would come here and make a difference. so congressman bera, for me, it's about standing strong and saying to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, join us, join us and make a difference -- in making a difference to help our seniors and to protect and to save medicare. and that's my message and my story. nd i yield back. mr. bera: thank you to my colleague from the great state of ohio. that's why we're asking folks today to share their stories. we'd love to hear your story
5:51pm
about how medicare has affected you or a family member or a friend. share it on facebook or twitter. we want to hear those stories. this body needs to hear those stories. this body needs to make sure when we're taking votes we're voting understanding those stories. you know, as a doctor, i took oath to do good, to do no harm. well, if medicare becomes a voucher program, it will do irrep ribble harm -- irrepairable harm to millions of americans. the reason i'm on the floor today is to talk about the good that medicare has done for millions of americans, americans like another one of my constituents, pat. she shared with us a story.
5:52pm
you know, pat was a single mom. she worked hard her whole life and raised two kids on her own. pat's now 77 years old. she has high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. she had to have open heart surgery and afterwards was prescribed very expensive medications and cardiac rehabilitation. she had to get back on her feet because she wanted to be with her family. there's no way pat could have afforded that surgery if she didn't have medicare. there's no way pat could have afforded the medications that she needed if she didn't have medicare. there's no way that the doctors that cared for pat would have been able to prescribe the therapies that she needed to keep her alive. that's what's at risk here.
5:53pm
this is about protecting our seniors, making sure that after a lifetime of work, after a lifetime of paying into a system that they can rest easy, that they don't have to worry about whether they can get the health care that they need when they need it the most, they can rest easy. that's why we want to hear your stories. please share your story about how medicare has impacted your life or your family's life on facebook or twitter. i'd like to now yield my time to my dear friend and colleague from the great state of california, my home state, thank you. >> i want to thank my friend,
5:54pm
dr. ami bera, for allowing me to speak for a few minutes and thank you, mr. speaker. mr. honda: we are here to dispel the repeated notion that medicare is somehow the problem in the current fiscal crisis. republicans have in budget after budget tried to voucherize the program and end the medicare guarantee as we know it. they would break the promise we made to our seniors decades ago, one in which we told hardworking middle-class americans that if they paid in through their wages and trusted in their government that they would be taken care of. medicare is the most efficient health plan in our country. it has a 2% overhead. let me repeat that. it's a 2% overhead, more efficient than any private plan. the problem isn't medicare. the problem is the rising cost of health care.
5:55pm
and what is it that we have to get under control? it's a cost that's gone up exponentially in our country compared to the rest of the world. republicans want to do nothing about the real problem of rising costs. rather than tackle the hard issue, they want to shift the costs onto seniors. people like my mom. she's 96 right now, and she depends on that important program. six years ago she had to be checked up for a heart condition, and she had an an rism below her die -- an uerism below her diaphragm. they said it would be difficult to solve, not get a stint because of her age, and she was 70. well, a few years later that anyeurism became
5:56pm
larger and was told if nothing was done she would die and the doctors looked at her again and noticed that at the advanced age of 90 she walked around and acting like she was 70 and the doctors concluded that we could do this with her. she has nine out of 10 chance of survival. if she did not do anything, the chance of survival would have been a lot less. my mom thought about it. she pondered about it. she says, i'm 90. i've lived a good life. let's take this nine out of 10 chance. she put her faith not only in the hands of the doctors, in the system, but also in the hands of her god. after a few hours of operation, she came out and it was successful. but none of this could have
5:57pm
been possible without medicare. we wouldn't have been able to afford it and neither could she have afforded it. she grew up as a child of a businessman during prewar united states, and in her adult life, as my mom, she worked as a domestic so she had no pension plan. she had no other plans that would have helped her in her old age except medicare. so time and time again when , leaving folks like my mom holding the bag, this whole issue is personal. and i'm sure this is a story that could be shared by almost family in this country one way or another when we think about medicare. so having the middle-class americans, people like mom holding the bag, it is absolutely unacceptable. it is wrong. and it is quite cowardly.
5:58pm
one of the major reasons for our health care costs keep going up because we have not changed the way patients and doctors see each other. we must be innovative and creative in tackling the traditional costs of health care. as a representative representing silicon valley, i have helped lead the way in this by promoting innovative technologies such as telemedicine, personal health connective devices and other tools. i will be reintroducing the health care innovation and marketplace technologies act later this year to continue this effort, and let's hope folks on the other side will understand its importance. most importantly, however, i will continue to stand with my friends here in the chamber tonight to protect medicare and the medicare guarantee. we can fix our nation's fiscal house by being innovative rather than using the same old ideology. we can improve our nation's standing by being courageous and standing by our nation's
5:59pm
seniors. i want to thank you and i yield ack. mr. bera: i thank my dear friend and colleague, congressman honda, from california. the reason why we are speaking on the floor today is because of the importance of medicare. this isn't a democratic or republican issue. this is an issue that affects all americans. it's an issue that is dear to all americans, to all american families. it isn't democratic or republican. that's why i'm wearing this pin that says no label, because we have got to move past these labels, democrat versus republican. and think about what our values are as americans.
6:00pm
the values of making sure we take care of our parents and grandparents. that we honor the foundation that they built for us, that those who came before them built, that we honor after a lifetime of work, after a lifetime of paying into a system that they can rest easy, that they know they can get the health care that they need when they need it the most. that's why we want you to share your stories with us about how medicare has impacted you personally or your family. i think about this and the thousands of patients that i have taken care of and what medicare has meant to them, how it saves millions of lives, how it's kept millions of families from falling into poverty because they were able to get the health care that was
6:01pm
necessary when they needed it the most. another one of my constituents, katherine, shared a story. katherine who had a sister who was diagnosed with lung cancer and chronic lung disease. at first katherine was hesitant and reluctant about using medicare, because she didn't want to be a burden and wanted to be independent, but she looked at it and realized she had paid into this system her whole life. and was grateful that it was there for her. she is realized that she wasn't being a burden, that this is the system that she had paid into, and was there for her. and you know what? medicare covered her bills and kept her alive. that's why we're here on the floor today talking about medicare. when i talk about this, it's
6:02pm
personal. i talk about this as a doctor. i talk about this as a son whose parents are aging. you know, i think about the people who live in my neighborhood, like my neighbor jerry. he's a widower. his wife past away several years ago. jerry's also a cancer survivor. he has to go in for routine blood transfusions and routine care. he doesn't have to worry about whether he can get that care or not. because of medicare. because he paid into the system his whole life. now he can get the care that he needs. millions of families across this country depend on medicare. that's why we're here talking about protecting medicare.
6:03pm
and that's why we want to hear your stories about how medicare has impacted your life. and i would love to hear those stories and want you to share them on facebook or twitter. you know, medicare allows patients that i have seen, patients with diabetes, with high blood pressure, with high cholesterol, to get the medications that they need. medicare allows me as a doctor to write those prescriptions and know that my patients are able o get the care that they need. medicare is not about democrats versus republican. it is about doing the honorable thing that we do as americans, because that's who we are. those are our values as americans. as americans, we want to make sure that after a lifetime of work, we're going to protect the promise that we made to our
6:04pm
parents and grandparents. and i know it's not democrats versus republicans. you can see it at -- that picture of when the tea party first emerged in this country in 2009. they were holding up their signs saying keep your hands off of our medicare, and you know what? i say the same thing. as we go through the budget debates, let's keep our hands off of medicare. we have to address the costs of health care. but as my colleague, congressman honda shared, medicare works extremely well. it is a program that has worked for decades. it is a program that has allowed me as a doctor and allowed countless doctors across this country to deliver the necessary care when we needed to. to do what we were trained to do to be doctors. that is why i'm on the floor
6:05pm
today, talking about how we protect that promise that we have made to our parents and grandparents, how we protect and honor the promises that we've made. yes, we face challenges in this country. yes, we have to address our debt and deficit. and we have to build for the future so that our children grow up in the same vibrant leading world that we grew up in, with a country that's leading the way. but we can't do that by breaking a promise that we made to our parents and grandparents. we can't do that on the backs of seniors taking care away from them when they need it the most. this has to be bipartisan, because how we treat our elders, how we treat our parents and grandparents is a direct reflection of who we are as
6:06pm
americans. we need to start talking about his in a bipartisan way. need to shelf the idea of dismantling medicare and strengthening medicare, making it more secure so it is there not only for today's seniors, but it is there for the generation. that it is there for our children and grandchildren. it is a system that works extremely well. yes, we have to talk about the costs of health care. we have to address the costs of health care. but medicare isn't the problem. medicare works extremely well. ask any senior. 80% of seniors love medicare. they don't want to see it changed. they don't want to see this body messing around with medicare. they want us to strengthen it and they understand we have to
6:07pm
deal with the costs of health care. but the system of medicare has delivered care extremely well. that's why i'm on the floor asking you to share your medicare story. i'm asking you to share that story on twitter or share it through facebook, because this body needs to hear those stories . this body needs to understand that medicare is a vital program for millions of seniors, that our parents and grandparents depend on this program. that our doctors, our hospitals depend on medicare. now is not the time to be talking about dismantling medicare. now is the time to be talking about how we strengthen medicare, how we make sure that it's there for the generation. that's why i'm on the floor today, as a doctor, but also as
6:08pm
a son whose parents rely on medicare. i want you to share your medicare stories on facebook or twitter. i yield my time to migrate friend and colleague from the great state of oregon. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair and not members of the viewing public. mr. blumenauer: i thank my colleague for being here this evening and sharing the time and allowing me the time to speak with him. and i must say how excited i was that a friend who actually had a rewarding career was willing to jump into the political fray, which has been a -- difficult at times, particularly as we have had the contentious issues surrounding health care, that
6:09pm
you would be willing to put your expertise, time and energy, when you had other choices with your life and career. we really appreciate it, because the experience you have had in the medical profession, the years of study, the actual experience with real-people adds the dimension that is helpful here in ways that i don't know that you fully appreciate, but i certainly do. i also appreciate focusing on the critical nature of medicare and where we're going in the world of health care reform. i just spent last week dealing with my republican friends' approach to the budget. and it can only be described as an exercise in fantasy. they start with the notion that somehow, they're going to eliminate obamacare entirely and
6:10pm
they seek to transfer the burden of medicare and medicaid from the government onto the shoulders of some of america's most vulnerable poor and disabled and our senior citizens. and i really appreciate your focusing on the importance of medicare and providing dignity and stability to millions of americans. now, i think there have been -- between the house and the senate, about 50 efforts or more to, quote, repeal the health care reform. and i must say that i hope that finally people get it out of their system. i was surprised that we went in this direction to turn medicare into a voucher, a block grant for medicaid and put this burden on our senior citizens and some
6:11pm
of our poor and disabled americans, because this was the centerpiece of their campaign for the last six months. this was part of what our friend, paul ryan and governor romney, preached from coast to coast, advertised, campaigned, and all of a sudden it was rejected by the american public overwhelmingly. the president was comfortably re-elected and more democratic senators added who support this effort in the house of representatives, not only did we gain seats, but more than a million voters more voted for democrats than republicans. so you would think that this would be put to rest, but it is important for people to know that it is still a viable option as far as our republican friends are concerned. and it's unfortunate, because we are making some progress in
6:12pm
reforming the health care system, not by turning our back on medicare, not by transferring the risk and responsibility to seniors and most vulnerable, but by making it more efficient, by taking some of the experiments that we have done in my home state of oregon, and as you well know, there are some health care systems in california that have already found ways to reward value over volume, to be able to extend care and do so more efficiently and squeeze the approximately one-third to 40% or more of our health care spending that is wasted. we can do a better job. we start, i think, by protecting medicare. we start by recognizing that a voucher or premium support or whatever they call it that caps
6:13pm
the investment does nothing to reform health care, but instead, it puts seniors and our most vulnerable citizens out navigating the health care maze with fewer resources and more responsibility and actually making it harder, because that's why we have medicare in the first place. the private market did a terrible job meeting the needs f america's oldest and least healthy population. i am hopeful that we are going to be able to continue this effort that you are spearheading this effort tonight for people to understand the opportunities to continue reform, to note that we are actually seeing a gradual stabilization of health care spending right now, and there are things in the hopper we can do going forward without taking
6:14pm
advantage of people who deserve the security of a solid reformed health care system, not one that the federal government, vouchers and terms of that. and i would yield back to the gentleman. if there are comments, i look forward to hearing what you have to say and perhaps there may be a little more interaction if it's useful. mr. bera: i appreciate my friend and colleague from the great state of oregon. you know, we have heard wonderful stories from all across this country tonight, as my colleagues have shared their experience with medicare, personal stories, about what medicare has meant to their parents. we want to hear your stories as well. your representatives on both sides of the aisle need to share your stories of what medicare means to you and to your family, because medicare is a promise that we have made to our parents and grandparents, to millions of
6:15pm
seniors across this country. it is a promise that after a lifetime of work, after a lifetime paying into a system, you can rest easy. you don't have to worry about whether you will be able to get the health care that you need, at a time when you need it the most. this can't be a partisan issue. it can't be democrats versus republican, because we're all sons and daughters. we all think about our seniors. those are our values as americans. it isn't who we are as a nation. we respect our elders. that's how we were raised. now, as a doctor, we rely on the importance of medicare. we rely on the ability that at a time when our patients are at their most vulnerable, when they need health care, that i can write that prescription, that i can do the treatment or order that surgery when it's needed.
6:16pm
. i urge this body and i urge my colleagues as we are looking to address the challenges of this nation, we acknowledge and understand that medicare is not one of those challenges, medicare is one of the success stories of america. medicare is a success story that has kept millions of americans healthy and alive and given them the care that they need. yes, we face challenges. yes, we have to address the cost of health care. but medicare is a success story and it is something that we should be celebrating every day . and that isn't democratic versus republican. that is a success story of this body. and let's celebrate that. and with that i'll yield back time to my colleague from
6:17pm
oregon. mr. blumenauer: thank you, dr. bera. i appreciate your focus on this and pointing out that this is something that shouldn't be a partisan issue, doesn't have to be a partisan issue and it is in fact a success story that has made a huge difference in the lives of seniors from coast-to-coast. it's helped in many cases stabilize what's happened in terms of local health care economics. the pattern that we have seen in escalating health care costs for the last 40 years, yes, there are concerns about health care as it relates to medicare, but if you compare the rate of increase of private health insurance versus the rate of increase in medicare, medicare spending has not gone up as rapidly as what's happened with the private insurance sector.
6:18pm
no senior citizen under medicare needs to go bankrupt because of medical costs. the security that you mentioned, i find it embarrassing and shameful that the united states is the only major country in the world where there are still people going bankrupt for health care costs. half of all bankruptcies are the result of health care emergencies. it doesn't have to be this way. and it is not that way for american seniors. but if we're going to change our health care commitment to our senior citizens, taking away the guarantee of medicare, flinging people into an uncertain private market that failed them in the past, which is why we had medicare in the first place, that guarantee is
6:19pm
not certain to be there. no one thinks that we shouldn't have a health care system with a medicare that is flexible going forward. we're open to reforms, absolutely. we want to reward value instead of volume. we want to be able to deal with the pattern of unnecessary medical readmissions for medicare patients after they've been in the hospital. it's too high still. but we are working on mechanisms in medicare and with the hospitals to be able to reward keeping them out of the hospital with preventable conditions that require readmission. we're in the process of looking at medicare advantage which is
6:20pm
growing dramatically. i come from the district that has probably the highest penetration of medicare advantage in the entire country. and it serves in many cases my constituents pretty well. but there are wide variations across the country in medicare advantage. not all medicare advantage programs are created equal. and again part of what we've done with the affordable care not to turn our back on potential opportunities to improve it, but to dive in and find ways to reward the most efficient and effective med -- medicare advantage programs and frankly reduce the support for programs that aren't measuring up. that's what we should be doing. we are moving in this direction.
6:21pm
we don't have to take away the commitment that we have made to america's seniors to improve medicare, medicare advantage, to be able to get even more value out of the system, not ust tax-dollar savings but better quality care for our senior citizens which should be our objective. and i know that's something you've practiced both as an elected official and as a professional and i deeply appreciate it. mr. bera: you know, i generally appreciate my colleague from the great state of oregon sharing these stories and the hard work that you've done on this. i know i'm coming up on the end of my time and i appreciate the opportunity to talk about medicare as a doctor, as a son, and talk about the success of medicare. it's something that we should be celebrating. and i look forward to working
6:22pm
with my republican colleagues to hear their stories of how medicare has impacted their lives, to work with them, to strengthen medicare, to make sure it is there, not only today but it is there for the next generation. and that it is stronger. and we can do this. we know how to do it. and over the coming weeks and the coming months, as we address our challenges, you know, i'll be coming to this this floor to share those stories -- coming to this floor to share those stories and those ideas of how we move forward as a nation, how we move forward as americans, making sure we honor the promise that we've made, that after a lifetime of work, after a lifetime paying into a system , that our parents and grandparents, that our seniors can get the care that they need. and with that, mr. speaker, i'll yield back the balance of my time to the chair. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
6:23pm
pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house will stand in recess subject to the call of
6:24pm
6:25pm
6:26pm
6:27pm
potentially at even more horrific scenes than we've already seen in syria on that additional information. as is always the case, when it comes to issues of war and peace, i think having the facts before you act is very important. >> a portion of today's news onference. and on c-span 3, the house foreign affairs committee holds a hearing on the threat and origins of hezbollah. all these events tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern n the c-span networks.
6:28pm
>> hired a very expensive carriage, elizabeth monroe dressed herself in her best and went to the prison where she -- where the madam was being held. she met with madam lafayette and basically made her case a public one. and some stories say, you know, next day she was released. it wasn't the next day. it was a couple of months. but it pretty much kept her from going to the guillotine and it eventually did lead to her release. >> in some ways she has her own cause. she works with the washington female orphan asylum so in that sense that's somewhat modern, having this cause that she was involved in. and she does work politics in her parlor, in such a way as to help win the presidency for her husband in her own way. >> our conversation with historians on elizabeth monroe and luisa catherine adams is now available on our website,
6:29pm
c-span.org/firstladies. earlier today, british army lieutenant general nick carter briefed reporters at the pentagon on the military's progress and transition in afghanistan. he talked about the increase in afghan force casualties and why he believes the insurgents are in a state of confusion. this is 25 minutes. >> good morning here in the pentagon briefing room and good evening in afghanistan. i'd like to welcome back lieutenant general nick carter, british army, to the pentagon briefing room. lieutenant general carter assumed duties as isaf deputy commander and commander of the united kingdom's contingent in afghanistan in october of last year. he was commissioned in the royal green jackets in 1978 and has served six months as director of plans of the u.s.-led combined joint task force 180 in afghanistan and --
6:30pm
in mid 2002. lieutenant general carter assumed command of six united kingdom division in january 29 and was responsible for the preparation and training of the task force's deploying on operations in afghanistan. the division then became a cjtf and assumed responsibility for isaf regional command south from november, 2009, to november, 2010. this is lieutenant general carter's fourth time with us here in the pentagon briefing room. he last joined us in october, 2010, while serving as commander of regional command south. he will provide brief opening remarks and then report on progress toward transition in afghanistan and then take your questions. with that, general, sir, i will turn it over to you. >> thank you very much for that introduction. and it's very good to be back with the pentagon press corps after a couple of years'
6:31pm
layoff. i thought i'd give you a sense of how transition is going from headquarters, eye satisfy's perspective. i think what's interesting following the joint announcement of president obama and president karzai in washington on the 11th of january is that we now find ourselves looking at the announcement for it coming up quite soon in the spring and of course the so-called milestone 13 which fell out of the chicago declaration. we see this very much as an inflexion point in the campaign. it is going to see a refocusing to the isaf mission. it's going to see the n.s.f. being a supportive piece of this and it's going to see us supporting them. it's going to see us very much reverting to train-advise-assist and enable where appropriate with combat operations happening either in extremist or set near limited basis. it's going to see us providing very much our assistant through the -- assistance through the new model of security force assistance teams and it's going to see us thinning up to the
6:32pm
brigade level in terms of the afghan army this fall and then up to the corps level probably after the election next summer. so it's an inflexion point, it's an interesting point in the campaign and it's going to see us increasingly achieving our objectives through an afghan chain of command rather than through an isaf chain of command. that brings me on to afghan security force capability. which at the tactical level is evolving rapidly. it's improving hugely. it's challenged in certain places. but in principle we see it being a significant success story. the challenge of course is sustaining it throughout the institutions of the army and the police force and up to the ministerial level and that's where we're focusing a good deal of our effort at the moment in terms of capacity building. last year only one of the 23 a.n.a. brigades was operational independently. i can report that now five out of the 26 brigades are in that position and 16 of them are
6:33pm
effective with support from their efforts which is a credible performance and it's one we see improving significantly during the course of this year. all of this has a bearing on the insurgency and i would characterize the insurgency now as being somewhat confused. it is the case that pakistan's behavior is slightly different and we believe that that is confused the insurgency and the prisoner releases that have taken place over the last three months are asking questions that perhaps were unexpected. the announcement of the doha office has also i think caused confusion and the extent of which that is a place that political engagement can now occur is something that is focusing minds. it will increasingly be difficult for them to achieve afghans fighting afghans, much harder for them to mobilize support on that basis. and the fact of the matter is, in my 10-year association with this campaign, the country has changed significantly. in terms of technology, you now
6:34pm
see 40% of afghans using mobile telephones. up to six million internet users, 45% of eaflings -- afghans now live in urban areas. the transport network is really quite joined up quite sophisticated, highway one is very nearly completed. women's issues are very different now. you see some 2.5 million girls in primary or secondary education. health care is much improved for women. they're able to talk to each other on mobile telephones. and if you look at the economy, it's growing at 9% in g.d.p. terms and i think for all those reasons the insurgency is having to think differently about how it might come back if it ever came back in political patriot terms and i think the feel in pakistan is different too. the sense i get is that they recognize that they've got a shared problem. some of the things that the general has talked about over the last three to six months recognized that this problem is something that they've www.to solve internally as well and --
6:35pm
got to solve termy as well and that's changing things. the big challenge is maintaining afghan confidence. it's quite obvious that the afghans are not going to be confronted by a 1992 once again. the chicago commitment and the tokyo commitment and the international community's overall commitment to afghanistan is very different to what it was 25 years ago. however, afghans still need reassurance and of course they've got the significant political transition coming up in 2014. and that will be very challenging. you have to go back to 1902 for the last time there was a peaceful political transition in afghanistan. and that of course worries afghans. and deadlines have a habit of focusing minds. what we have to compete with in challenge terms this year is maintaining the population's confidence through 2014 and the security forces' confidence. to my mind that's the big challenge. so those are some introductory remarks. i'll hand it over to all of you for questions. thank you.
6:36pm
>> sir, spencer ackerman. can you clarify what's actually happening with the war act agreement? we didn't see any set deadlines for transition. can you clarify if there are timetables in effect for isaf leaving the proevents? and if so what are they? >> yes, what's happening now is a result of a very positive meeting that the general had with the president this morning. it's that the afghan security forces, under the leadership of a general, are looking at how they are going to assume responsibility for the district . we don't yet know what solution they will apply to this, whether it will be one based upon local police with maybe their special forces providing mentorship, whether it will be something that will be under the administer of interior or whether it will be a conventional solution. my expectation is they will brief the president, back brief him on sunday at the national
6:37pm
security council meeting that takes place routinely. we'll be involved in the planning with the afghans between now and then. and as we produce this plan with them, so i suspect we'll be in a better position to explain what the solution will be. i would just say that this is a very interesting pilot if you like in terms of how transition will occur over the course of the next year or so. it's probably one of the most complicated provinces that we have had to deal with. and how this goes, i think, will be a bell weather of how the overall transition process works. if it's oy on a political divide, not least between the rovinging cuchey community and what czaras with a pashtun piece of it as well, there is a taliban tension in there as well, many of the landers and landowners have moved back into cabell and the fabric of leadership -- kabul and the fabric of leadership is very challenging. so i think the politics of this place give us a really good
6:38pm
indication as to how afghans are going to manage transition as we step forward. it's an interesting place to focus on in terms of our intention, over. >> does that mean we should expect to see isaf special forces and other troops perating in the coming months? >> that's absolutely the case that they will operate there. i think that nerc will be treated different as i have described but what we're seeking to do in the coming months is transition much of afghanistan. >> just to clarify, does this agreement, even in this one district, include special operations forces or is it just a.n.f.? raditional >> given the political dynamics and the background there, it's going to be transition to an afghan solution during the course of the next few days.
6:39pm
subject to -- subject to the agreements that will be pushed forward to the national security council on sunday. elsewhere it's business as usual and it's no change. but be under no illusion that there will be other places where we need to transition in much the same way as we're transitioning here. >> they'll stop operating there? >> sorry, i missed the nuance of your question. >> special operations forces ill stop in that district? >> that district will be transitioned to an afghan solution. -- wo things, what did isaf do you think that isaf made some kind of mistake or did they make a mistake in how they
6:40pm
communicated with the afghan authorities that led to this kind of urgent problem that had o be resolved? >> no, i don't think so. i think that in my experience in afghanistan, often you get local political situations which are very complicated and how you take forward those local political complications are issues that will often bubble up in the way that this one has done. and i don't think anybody necessarily made a mistake, i just think it's a challenging area to operate in and i think that it is one of those sorts of issues which regularly you have to deal with in afghanistan. >> second question, unrelated, you spoke about the taliban being confused. how does that manifest itself on the battlefield? are you seeing a change in how they're operating or a change how their internal dynamics
6:41pm
are? >> i think it manifests itself in the levels of violence. i think there are areas where we've had a significant amount of tactical success, particularly in the south, in my old haunt, kandahar, and in central helmand and as they are achieving their affects has been significantly set back in those places. and i think more at the strategic level, you get the feeling that they're having to rethink that overall approach and that overall strategy. and you'd expect that because ultimately this is about politics and when you see a country that is changed like afghanistan has over the last 10 or 11 years, you can understand why they'd have to rethink the political aspect of it. >> hi, general, this is courtney from nbc news. i want to be sure that we understand exactly what you're saying. by the term afghan solution, transitioning to an afghan solution, just to be clear, that means there will not be
6:42pm
any isaf or coalition forces, it will be afghan forces only in that district going forward after this transition in the next several days? is that correct? >> we -- yes, once the plan has been put together and there's confidence on all sides that it's possible to transition it to an afghan solution, the district will be transitioned to an afghan solution. >> and then a follow-up. sort of a larger question, sort of like dan's, can you sort of lay out what the spring fighting season -- we've been told back here that it started recently in the last week or so. it started a little earlier this year because the weather's a little warmer. can you lay out what you're looking at for this fighting season as far as the areas you're looking most specifically at that could have the most violence? any new or different or emerging tactics by the insurgencies -- by the insurgents that you're particularly concerned about or that you're watching? just to lay out the fighting
6:43pm
season for us. >> yes, i mean, the way we have laid out transition and you know it is in five trauverages. the trauverage five geographic areas, which are along the eastern front here, and down into kandahar and into parts of helmand, those are the areas which are the pashtun heart of the insurgency and those are the ones that we would expect to be most violent. we always show concern to the areas that run up from pakistan nto kabul and that's why the east is important and paktika are also important and those are areas that one needs to pay particular attention to throughout any of the fighting seasons that i've experienced. and those are the areas that we will focus most of our attention on during the course of this. not least because they are the areas that are part of the traverage five piece of transition. now, that said, looking down
6:44pm
toward the south, i went down to kandahar myself about a month ago for the first time since i'd left it as an r.c. commander in october and i know that you heard from general abraham's -- abrahams last wednesday but i was seriously encouraged by the security situation in kandahar and i was impressed with it also in central hell monday. and it's my -- helmand. and it's my sense that the insurgency will find it difficult to create traction in a area and i'm absolutely more positive therefore about those parts of where the insurgency would have to operate. but it's my sense it's the eastern areas and it's the areas that push up into kabul which will be the principal stretch during the course of this summer. i think elsewhere in afghanistan you should still expect there to be reports of violence but the motivations behind that violence i sense are much more likely now to be involved in criminality rather than straightforward insurgency that seeks to knock the government over. over.
6:45pm
>> in the back of the country, can you give us a sense of the willingness to come back to the dialogue table and who they're comfortable in talking to, their government or the u.s. or he pakistanis? >> the question you've asked me really should be directed to the afghan government. it's for the afghan government to manage the negotiations with the taliban. and therefore i wouldn't go any further than to observe on that. over. >> just a follow-up on courtney's question. you said that combat operations by coalition forces will happen in extremists. in the eastern provinces that you discussed and in the southern ones that you discussed that fell under traunch five, do you expect to see coalition operations in that or is that something that
6:46pm
the afghans decide that's going to be an afghan campaign? and if the ladder -- latter, are the afghans already moving extra forces in there to fill the gap during this current fighting season? >> the afghans are determining what operations are going to be mounted in the areas as well as anywhere else in afghanistan. now, the level of support that we expect to provide in those areas is greater than it would be in the earlier areas because of the nature of the threat and the conditions on the ground. we though would not expect to mount unilateral combat operations unless there was a serious problem that required our support to the afghans. we would very much expect the afghans to lead and us to enable those operations and provide training and assistance
6:47pm
to those operations as well as some of the battle space management necessary to integrate some of the air support that they might need from time to time. over. >> just wanted to go back to your previous statement about five of the brigades. where are those brigades located? are they mostly in r.c. south or r.c. east? and on the meeting between general dunnford and president karzai this morning, was the issue regarding the detention center, was that discussed as well and will that come up during the sunday national ecurity council meeting? as you know, we put most of our early investment into the calls in r.c. east area and that's where you'll find brigades at
6:48pm
their most capable. in terms of the detention facility, the answer is that general dunnford is having ongoing discussions with the president and it would have been raised at this morning's meeting. i don't expect it to be raised at the national security council meeting. it's my expectation that general dunnford is making good progress in terms of his discussions with the president on all of this and that we will be working towards a resolution to the problem during the course of the next week or so. ver. >> fatality counts for coalition forces so far this year seem to be rather low. but when you look at the kind of fatality numbers for afghan forces, they seem to be in the several hundred range for the last couple of months. what explains this disparity and are those numbers way too high for afghan forces? what's going on that they're
6:49pm
suffering such fatality rates? >> yeah, i mean, the obvious answer to the question is that this is what is going to happen as we transition to an afghan security force lead. we're going to step back and increasingly they are going to shoulder much of the burden of combat operations. and therefore they're going to be at the forefront of combat and therefore in the face of the enemy. now, in terms of their attrition and casualty rates, the answer is that we monitor these very closely. the afghans are concerned by the level as are we. we're going to work very closely with them to try and manage the issue and to reduce the casualty rates. a lot of it is to do with ongoing training. it's important for example, that armed vehicles are used more than ford ranger trucks because so much of the difficulty comes from the i.e.d. threat. that said, every day the
6:50pm
eafings improve their ability -- the afghans improve their ability in counter-i.e.d. terms. they find similar number of i.e.d.'s to those which we find and their tactics and procedures improve on a daily basis. and of course we train more engineers on a daily basis to improve their counter-i.e.d. overall capability -- capability. there is at the moment no problem with recruiting people for the army and the police force. indeed, the kabul military training center is full of recruits. it's not difficult for the afghans to do it. the trick of course is trying to get to a steady state where we don't have to fill the kabul ministry training center at the rate that we're doing at the moment and these are issues that we work through with the afghans, these are issues that we work in detail in the ministry of defense with, sthees are issues -- these are issues in which the government is involved in. and i think we're confident
6:51pm
that we are going to improve matters. subject to of course the way in which this fighting season evolves. over. >> to follow up, does this portend that as coalition forces pull back, that as the fighting season ensues and continues on, that we may see even higher afghan casualty rates given what we're seeing now? >> i mean, it's impossible to predict this, of course. but the plain fact is that as the intensity of operations increases during the course of the summer, it would be logical to assume that casualty rates might well increase with it. i can't predict that but that is something that of course we are keeping a very weathered eye on and it's important that we make sure that we sustain this through the fighting season. over. >> hi, general. john harper. what would you estimate the size of the insurgency to be at this point? and how many insurgents have
6:52pm
laid down their arms and gone through the formal reintegration process? on that latter point, plus-5,000 have formally entered the re-integration process. and it's very difficult to put a head count on how large the insurgency is. not least because i think it's always quite difficult to be clear about who the enemy always is. i mean, i always use the term insurgency and i use that in a very precise term because an insurgent is somebody who wishes to knock over the government. there are a lot of other people who may well be involved in criminality or furthering their own economic or political agendas who might not wish to upset the government and therefore be formally described as insurgents. so i think how you categorize who the enemy is is very much determined by motivation and i think it's a point that we need
6:53pm
to keep focusing on as we try and understand the political dynamics in afghanistan as a whole. so i wouldn't put numbers on it. rather, what i would tend to do is to try and examine those areas where violence is high and there are about 10 districts in afghanistan where 40% of the violence often happens. i would tend to try to look at the capability that the insurgency's able to field in terms of threats to places like kabul and to key cities like kandahar and areas. that's a better way of looking at it because it's about the output rather than the input number in terms of the number of people. and of course as is always the case in counterinsurgency, people will often simply fade away if you get the politics right. so the numbers of the sense i think are less relevant as opposed to the output and the capability that they're able to scren rate. over -- to generate. over. >> ok. with that we will turn it back over to you for any closing
6:54pm
remarks. >> thank you very much for your interest this evening. like everything in afghanistan, it's always a roller coaster. it's a pleasure to be back involved in the campaign. and i much look forward tone gauging with you -- to engaging with you if you have time in a few months' time. thank you. . >> thank you, sir. good evening. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> tuesday marked the 10th abe versery of the american invasion in iraq. the beginning of the iraq war. at the capitol in the house and senate, a number of speeches from members about the 10th anniversary. here's a look at some of the comments from house members today. mr. speaker. this week marks the 10-year anniversary of the start of combat operations in iraq, and most of the discussion in this town focuses on politicians, pundits and writers and while i don't begrudge people, the
6:55pm
ability to indulge in those types of debates, i do think what's been missing is tribute to the sacrifices that have been made by american service members. abraham lincoln during the civil war wrote, and i quote, this extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all classes of people, but most heavily upon the soldier, for it has been said all that a man hath will he give for his life and while all contribute of their substance the soldier put his life at stake and often yields it up in his country's cause. the highest merit then is due to the soldier, end quote. now, the iraq conflict is much different than the civil war, and one of the ways it's different is that the burden is lt perhaps even more directly on our american service men and women. after all, we did t have and do not he a military draft. most of the folks who were going over there volunteered,
6:56pm
and a lot of them knowing that they would be sent in places like iraq and afghanistan. many of our service members did multiple combat tours, not just for four months or six months, and 2 months and 15 months very hazardous duties. what did they volunteer for? this is not a piece of cake. these were very difficult fights against an enemy by and large did not show its face. the enemy decided to wreak havoc with grow adviced explosive devices and suicide vests. this is a daily reality for our men and women on the ground during this period. when operations did our between u.s. forces and the enemy, they were often fierce fights in urban cities. the cities like ramadi and baghdad. and of course being on multiple deploymentand being go for so long provided the opportunity for a lot of stress
6:57pm
on families. it's difficult to be in a situation where you're missing a holay. some of our troops had to miss multiple holidays over multiple years. that is a sacrifice both for the folks who have to be back home but also for the troops who are the front lines. so lincoln said the highest merit is due to the soldier. indeed. as we look back on the 10th anniversary of iraq, what we see are soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who have been given the most diffult of tasks and yet they discharged their duties with courage and skill. hence forth, nobody will be able to recount the great feats of some of our services such as the marine corps, from the shores of tripoli to bellawood to gauto canale without mentioning the great feats of our marines in places like fallujah. when recounting the special
6:58pm
operation forces, credit has to be given to the navy seals in iraq ding those perilous moments. so with honor, tenacity d distinction, we thank you, the american service member, for the sacrifices you made on behalf of our country. and for those who gave the last full measure of devotion, you have earned a place in the pantheon of america's greatest heroes. we thank you for your service and your sacrifice and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlen's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, for five minutes. mr. mcdermott: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. without objection. mr. mcdeott: mr. speer, after a painful decade of war, the united states needs to take the time to regain its ual libry up and find -- equalibrium and find peace.
6:59pm
ourollective trauma can undermine our country for decades. as ernest hemmingway wrote, the killing is necessary, i know, but still the doing of it is very bad for a man. and i think that after all this is over and we have won the ar, tre must be a penas of some kind -- penance of some kind. equally important, despite great efforts of our soldiers to provide civilians an overwhelming number of casualties in r are innocent people. this is a deep cost for those who witness it and are sometimes responsible for it. many initiatives exist that provide help for the men and women who have fought, but we must go beyond the policy initiatives. soldiers returning from war need to share their experience and unburden their souls. our soldiers volunteered to
7:00pm
serve their country in war, but they did not volunteer to take over the entire moral bden that comes with it. our nation needs to discuss the complicated, spiritual and emotional obstacles faced by any society that has waged war. this is not a partisan debate about the rightness or wrongness of war. this is a national effort to take care of ousoldiers by publicly sharing some of their burdens. we must be willing to explore the responsibility that comes with asking them to fight. in preindustrial societies, leaders were imnantly involved with war itself, often with a sword in hand, and religious leaders from fully engaged in the aftermath. they dide-commissioned the fighters and the community conscious of the sacrifice. these processes are missing today, and they remain vitally important. the agony suffered by our veterans is vivid testimony.
7:01pm
22 veterans commit suicide every day while an average of almost one active duty soldier a day took his or her life in 2012. that's higher than combat. many other soldiers suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, become addicted to drugs or alcohol or fall into violence and prison. if a society fails to address these emotional and moral issues publicly, soldiers and vets will struggle with them privately. many of them willose that struggle and leave us all affected by their loss. the nation requires concrete ways to address the wounds of the war. we need a national day of solemn ceremonies, acknowledging the cost in lives, trauma, lost limbs, families, our renewed commitment to social and health issues of veterans and a discussion about national service for young nonmilitary
7:02pm
americans and a systematic interaction between combat veterans and civilians. marlantis h karl who wrote a book "what it's like to go to w" and another person who wrote about afghanistan and addressed these issues. we propose a commission to examine and articulate the spiritual challenges and to help heal the psychological wounds faced by a nation emerging from a decade of war. we call on the president, the senate majority and minority leader and the house speaker and minority leader to appoint a group of distinguished citizens to explore ways to heal the society. the committee should include veterans, spiritual leaders, psychechologists, journalists, maybe even a poet -- psychologists, journalists, maybe even a poet. it should strive to go into the tr moral and emotional consequences that violence always incurs. it may be hard for us, but we
7:03pm
must do it if we are to remain a humane society. some see thingss they are and ask why. i dream of things as they never were. and the question we must ask now is why can't we do for our soldiers what needs to be done. . hey nee [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> some of the speeches from earlier today. also today in washington, federal reserve chairman ben bernanke held a briefing. here's a portion now. >> as for today, our policy decision had two main elements. first, the committee decided to purchase additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion and longer
7:04pm
term treasury securities at $45 billion a month. the committee has described this program in terms of a monthly pace of purchases rather than as a total amount of expected purchases and has tied the evolution of the program to economic criteria. specifically, to the achievement of a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market in the context of price stability. within this framework, the committee could vary the price of purchases as progress is made or its assessment of the costs changes. at this meeting, the committee judged that no adjustment was warranted. second, the committee kept the target for the federal funds rate and reafffirmed its expectation that monetary policy will remain appropriate for considerable time after the asset purchase program ends and the economic recovery strengthens. in particular, we anticipate
7:05pm
that the exceptionally low range for the funds rate will be appropriate as long as the unemployment rate remains at 6.5% and no more than half percentage rate above the goal of 2% and longer term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored. i should note as i have on other occasions, the economic conditions provided are a threshold, not triggers. crossing one or more of these thresholds will not lead to an automatic increase in rates. the committee will assess at that time whether the outlook justifies raising its target for the federal funds rate. this guidance will help market participants assess how the policy is likely to respond to economic developments but its broader purpose is to assure that monetary policy will support the recovery even as the pace of economic growth and job creation picks up. in their individual projections,
7:06pm
14 of the 19 participants saw the first increase in the target for the federal funds rate as occurring in 2015 or 2016. let me comment briefly on how the two main pieces asset purchases and guides fit together. the purpose of the asset purchases is to increase the economy's near term momentum with the goal of improving the labor market and helping to promote a self-sustaining recovery with price stability. it provides information about when the committee will begin considering the removal of policy accommodation through increases in the target for the federal funds rate. importantly, the committee expects time to pass between the asset purchases and the time when it will be appropriate to remove accommodation by moving the target toward more near
7:07pm
levels. the committee will take a balanced approach consistent with the longer run depoles of maximum employment and inflation of 2%. in sum, the committee anticipates modern economic growth supported by household and business spending and strengthening housing sector. the labor market has shown signs of improvement in recent months but the unemployment rate remains elevated. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> all of that part of our prime time schedule which gets under way at 8:00 p.m. eastern with president obama and benjamin netanyahu. their press conference earlier in jerusalem. on c-span2 at 8:00, it's that news conference with the fed chair. and the house committee holds a hearing on the origins of hezbollah. and next up, we are go to go hear from the chairman of that house foreign affairs committee,
7:08pm
ed royce, on u.s. policy towards asia. he talked about economic prosperity in asian the u.s.-china relations in light of north korea's advancing nuclear program. this is from the heritage foundation. it's about an hour. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. my name is edwin fullner. for the next 13 days, i'm the president of the heritage foundation. i'm delighted to have with us
7:09pm
this morning my successor as the new president of the heritage foundation, senator jim demint and happy you are able to join us for our 17th annual b.c. lecture. i welcome all of you to the heritage foundation and to our auditorium. it's good to see so many friends here and it's particularly happy occasion for us to be able to co-host the reception afterwards with our good friend, the ambassador from the republic of korea. it's very special time for korea to celebrate the first chorus and we celebrate and commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the korean war. today, we have a number of other significant guests who are here
7:10pm
with us representing the samsung company from their new jersey headquarters, mr. m.j. han and welcome you here on behalf of the chairman of samsung, and our good friend and long time member of the heritage foundation. we are delighted to have so many members of the diplomatic corps here with us, cambodia is here this morning. the ambassador from the phillipines is here. the ambassador from indonesia is here. we have the d.c.m.'s from a number of our asia-pacific partnership countries, including australia, canada, singapore, thailand and vietnam. we have hong kong's commissioner for economic and trade affairs with us today. and always good to see him. leo lee is here. and i thank all of you for making a special effort to be
7:11pm
with us here today to welcome the chairman of the house ommittee on foreign affairs. again, this is a confluence of several anniversaries. the 16th time we have convened to celebrate the life of the late chairman the founder of the samsung group with a major address on asia policy. mr. chairman, today you are succeeding a long line of distinguished speakers over the years. our first b.c. lecturer was former secretary of state henry kissinger. subsequently, we have heard from chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, senator jesse helms and heard from ben ilman and henry hyde and don rumsfeld, colin powell, condi
7:12pm
rice and others. our last lecturer was senator leiberman. we have over the years made a significant and substantial contribution to american policy makers, understanding of the challenges we face in terms of our policies towards asia. this is, in fact, the 30th anniversary of the founding of the heritage foundation's asian study center. when dick and i started the center back in 1983, it was our first dedicated foreign policy center at the heritage foundation. back then asian security was all about what's happening here in the cold war. from that perspective, study of the soviet union might have made a lot more sense. dick and i, as we talked it through, talked about the potential that someday it might even be conceivable that u.s.
7:13pm
trade with asia would actually even equal our trade with what was going on across the atlantic. today, it's much greater than our trade across the atlantic. we have been blessed by the insights of many dear friends in asia. we have over the years seen the remarkable economic growth and economic development in asia. it's been our very great pleasure, in fact, to recognize that in terms of economic freedom, as it has evolved throughout asia in specific countries and indeed throughout the region. we always knew that our good friends in japan and that the u.s.-japan mutual relationship, both the mutual defense treaty and our bilateral general relationship would be central. but we also thought that asia deserved fully a broader treatment in its own right, so we really invested in the
7:14pm
future. as we look ahead in terms of our asian study center, we look also to other achievements in both the range of foreign and strategic issues as well as economic policy issues. in fact, today, they are interlinked and it is hard to distinguish one from the other. today, as we look ahead, there is no one i can think of that i would rather help from in both to celebrate these anniversaries and look ahead in terms of developments in the asia hafe pacific region. the chair of the house foreign affairs committee, ed royce, is an old friend and a real leader on foreign affairs. he has been actively involved in very preliminaried and substantial way with u.s. policy towards asia since he first came
7:15pm
to congress 11 terms ago. representing california's 34rd district, we are honored to have the chairman here and his wife with us, marie, thanks for being with us today. as we look ahead and mr. chairman, we look forward very much to your insight as to what we might expect. we all understand that today, the world is a very dangerous place. i understand you have just come from chairing hearings on the current situation in syria, which is certainly a flashpoint in the world today. but as we look back and stay focused here in this confines today any way, it's our great pleasure to ask you, if you would, to come up and share your insights with us on the united states, asian the future. thank you. and welcome back. [applause]
7:16pm
>> thank you very much. good morning, ambassador, marie, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. i'm delighted to be here. they tell me that the b.c. lee lecture has a long and distinguished history. well, so has ed fulner. and i want to thank him for the leadership that he has given this institution for so long. also, i should say a word about of the the director asian study center because without him we wouldn't have the asian-pacific press here today and wouldn't have the round table that he does and outreach. well, i think i should begin by telling you that ambassador choy and i were recently in california and we were there with veterans of the korean war.
7:17pm
and there is, indeed, a unique bond that exists between veterans and those that they fought so bravely to protect. and we saw that bond there that day, and it is a reminder of the special relationship that exists between our countries that goes back some 60 years. t it is also a reminder that as that relationship has matured, so has south korea evolved. if we remember the situation after the devastation of the war, everything was in ashes. you see those photographs brought back by those g.i.'s that show the absolute destruction that was on that peninsula. and today, as you go back to seoul and you be hold what has come to pass, it is phenomenal that at this 60th anniversary
7:18pm
and at this one-year anniversary, frankly, of our legislation, legislation which i co-authored, we are looking at a korea that i think would have been unimaginable to that generation, to those men who accepted those awards from you that day. ambassador choi. you think about the spirit, and b.c. lee, he was well known for what they call his pioneering spirit, his willingness to commit to new markets even when their potential was not readily apparent. it was his willingness to take risks that propeled samsung and propeled south korea to the highest level of innovation and of success. and that, indeed, is the foundation of capitalism itself,
7:19pm
this entrepreneurial risk taking and the ability to receive that reward, to take those risks, and thus engender that type of growth. and believe that b.c. lee would agree that the enduring legacy of america's commitment to the asia-pacific region is without a doubt the long-term economic prosperity that is at the heart of this dynamic evolution that we see in asia. america's contribution to asia's growth has been overwhelmingly positive and a big part of that, a big part of it was the free market and open trading system that the u.s. helped build after the war. as a result, many asian countries have enjoyed unprecedented prosperity, and so has the united states. our nation is, after all, a pacific power. for those of us in california,
7:20pm
asia's not the far east. for us, it's the near west. and none of the prosperity would have been possible without the stability that america's security umbrellas brought to asia. but what has been the norm for generations is now starting to change. perhaps the catalyst of this change is the perception, either rightly or wrongly, that the balance of power in asia is undergoing a once in a lifetime transformation. what we are seeing is that asia's collective attention is gradually shifting away from economic prosperity to, instead, security concerns. where nations used to focus on trade and commerce, now they discuss nationalism, military budgets and even provocative behavior. look no further than the territorial dispute in the east
7:21pm
china sea. for these reasons, we must shift away from the old approach, which unnecessarily divided the region and separated economic engagement from our political engagement. the old way of doing business is not only cumbersome, but it is becoming less relevant. we must somehow find a way to reinvigorate our engagement of asia, not for fear that we may be left out, but rather we must engage so that we can once again move the focus squarely back to economic prosperity. this notable shift and focus in trade to nationalism frankly worries me. and that's why i believe there must be some urgency to this. we have seen the alternative before. there are no winners in arms races. i selected asia as the destination of my first overseas trip to send an unmistakable
7:22pm
message that the region is critically important to the united states. i was hartened by the warm welcome that my ranking member and i received in japan in taiwan and in the philippines, in china and in south korea. during our visit, three issues dominated our discussions. north korea, territorial dispute and economic prosperity. the region has changed so much that the old way of doing business will not help us achieve our objective in the future. a fundamental restructuring of u.s. involvement in the asia pacific, will resolve the endless standoff with north korea once and for all. india will no longer be artificially be separated from the rest of asian we will firmly anchor taiwan into the global trading system. the u.s. must take an in-depth
7:23pm
look with its relationship with china and find a balanced approach that takes into account america's interest while striving for a productive relationship. finally, we must make america the most attractive location to do business for the asia-pacific region. let's get the conversation back on to economic prosperity and away from die advise i have nationalism. america's north korea policy has been a failure by all measures. d i will share with you that includes democratic and republican administrations. our inability to bring about real change inside north korea has resulted in a region that is more insecure today than it was during the 1994 framework agreement, when that agreement promised a nuclear-free korean peninsula. that approach has not worked. earlier this month, i called a
7:24pm
hearing examining policy options for imposing a different approach, an approach that frankly, we tried in 2005, and that approach was the approach with the bank of delta asian the sanctions we placed on the financial system. i plan to introduce bipartisan legislation in the next few weeks with the ranking member to target north korea's access to hard currency via its many illicit activities and use of foreign banks. and the reason for this is because the most expensive defense strategy is a nuclear weapons program. in terms of items in the budget, the cost and hard currency to develop this and maintain this, it is absolutely overwhelming. and when i spoke to defectors who had been part of the weapons system or missile system, they told me when that was deployed
7:25pm
in 2005, 2006, they could not get parts. they had to close down the production line. there wasn't the hard currency for the regime to pay its generals or certainly to run that program. it is time that we thought long-term. if we do nothing, then it's almost a guarantee that north korea will develop a nuclear warhead and will shrink that warhead and place it on top of an icbm and plunge northeast asia into an open arms race. and the costs of that are going to be extraordinary. looking towards south asia, it integrate u.s. to asia into the broader economic trading system. we must include india not as a sournt balance to china but because it makes economic sense.
7:26pm
indeed, many have advocated a larger role for india, but few have articulated why this greater roll is in india self-interest. and this is simple. economic prosperity. india is the world's largest democracy. and will soon be one of the world's largest economies. its involvement in asia will be a welcomed addition. the u.s. must work with india to reduce her domestic constraints to growth and inagrees foreign direct investment. reducing red tape, increasing the supply of electricity, improving the tax system, strengthening the ability to enforce contracts will all lift india's ranking and spur business growth in a way that has been missing thus far. since asia's economy is largely based on global supply chains, it is absolutely critical for
7:27pm
india to enact reforms and liberalize its economy, to tap into this regional market. this is how india anchors itself in the asia-pacific region and we should do what we can to help leverage those reforms inside india. that is why i believe the administration must redouble its efforts to secure a u.s.-india bilateral investment treaty. current negotiations are proceeding far too slowly. there are important issues to resolve and it's going to take a concerted effort to make progress, but once the b.i.t. is firmly in place, the u.s. should work with india on a free trade agreement that will foster more trade. we should also work with india on high-tech visas where both of our countries jointly benefit. i strongly believe that where goods and services cross borders, armies do not. if this isn't motivation enough,
7:28pm
let's consider the fact that of the 11 trillion in new wealth that is going to be generated worldwide over the next five years, half of that amount, half of that amount is going to be in asia. with this in mind, the united states must not shy away from including taiwan into the broader international trading regime. for far too long, the discussion about taiwan has been dominated by arms sales. this approach to an island of 23 million people, which boasts a world-class manufacturing sector is sadly inadequate. taiwan is a robust democracy, with a strong commitment to human rights, to free speech, to free markets. so let's complete the u.s.-taiwan investment agreement and in short order let's begin negotiations towards a bilateral investment treaty.
7:29pm
china's rise cannot be ignored, but it also does not need to be our collective obsession as well. the u.s. must engage china and seek a more productive relationship, because it's really in our best interest to make this relationship work. all the concerns about china, whether they are trade dispute or human rights will never fully go away. but to choose a path of contentiousness, really limits what we are able to achieve. when it comes to china, it's likely we will continue to have disagreements. regardless of the issue, we have to keep talking and maintain open lines of communications. that is why i'm a strong advocate for increasing military-to-military exchanges between our two countries. unfortunately, the u.s. doesn't have the economic influence in asia that it once had to drive that agenda. the economic activity has shifted gradually away from the u.s. to china.
7:30pm
interregional trade between china and southeast asia has also grown tremmedously. trade between china and australia has grown. japan is even more focused on the chinese market than the american market. and while i fully support japan's interest to join the partnership, that t.p.p. free trade agreement alone cannot reverse this trend. if the u.s. is going to remain an economic leader in asia, if we are going to succeed, we need to get better at home. to do that, we must make the most of our human resources, and that requires better education here in the united states. we need more students studying math and studying science. and we must fully embrace the rich diversity of asian americans. in my congressional district, for example, we have chinese mericans, taiwans, koreans and
7:31pm
filipinos. 95 countries of origin represented within the 39th congressional district. i have long consulted with my constituents to better understand developments abroad and many of my constituents are active in trading and investing in asia, which is a source of our national wealth. last congress, i sponsored legislation to make it easier for state universities in california to teach strategic languages, such as chinese, so our students are better equiped to do business and conduct diplomacy overseas. i'm a strong advocate for increasing the number of visas to foreigners who received advanced degrees in science, technology, math. in the u.s., 76% of all egistered patents from the top - from the top 10% producing universities. they come from foreign students,
7:32pm
foreign students here in the u.s. who then become inventors. these foreign-born inventors are driving economic prosperity with the consequences of their background in these hard sciences. in our current system, we welcome foreign students to the united states. we provide them the world's best education, and then we send them home so they can compete against us, and frankly, this makes no sense. america's current involvement in asia must not be confined by the same old approaches that may have once served a purpose, but are now woefully out of date. indeed, we must harness the full potential of american ingenuity to address the spectrum of challenges we have before us and this is how b.c. lee built samsung in the aftermath of the korean war. and much like the phoenix rising from the ashes, korea and
7:33pm
samsung today are truly world class. together, we can ensure that the future legacy of america's engagement in the asia-pacific region is focused on mutual economic prosperity. that's the focus which i bring and which i'm suggesting to you and i thank you for the opportunity. and i look forward to answering your questions. [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. questions? >> there is a territory dispute in the region including the
7:34pm
dispute between vietnam and china and other countries. what are your thoughts on that and briefly, you said in the hilippines that recently china -- [inaudible] >> that's a quote from the newspaper there. but what i did say at the time was that under the treaty of the the hat i understood why government would in the philippines would utilize that approach to resolve this conflict, because after all, efforts had been made to reach an agreement to come to a mutually beneficial agreement and that had failed. and therefore, the ability to petition and to have a
7:35pm
resolution to this through that method was logical. and i think that the the resolution of these dispute have to come by nature of using the rule of law. mechanism pute resolution that exists under that treaty is an effective way as i'm explaining this to you now, an effective way to address this problem. because our goal and our diplomacy is based on urging governments -- urging governments not to use the type of nationalistic rhetoric that leads to confrontation but to work multinationally in order to resolve dispute. we can see periods in the past when nations with competing claims came very close to
7:36pm
resolution. and unfortunately because of nationalist voices in both countries, we failed to achieve that opportunity to resolve the situation. and that's why i think the united states can play an important role here, because we can be a constant reminder of what the consequences will be to the capital markets. what the consequences will be in terms of contraction and failure to see economic growth if you set off the rhetoric, which then leads to escalation and then leads to constriction of trade. constriction of confidence in a region. this, right now, is a very great challenge for the united states. and it's a challenge because of in some ways, the rise of this
7:37pm
nationalist rhetoric. and so this is something that the diplomatic corps is here today. i see them shaking their heads in agreement to this. this is something that we all need to remind our political class as well as foreign heads of state, because we all can lead this world back to a more reasoned and careful discourse over these issues in which the resolution can be mutually beneficial. >> yes. ambassador. >> i have a question related to that. [inaudible] >> thank you for the excellent presentation. all of us expect a great
7:38pm
presentation from you. comment on the nationalism and i agree with you, nationalism is a big challenge in asia especially in prosperity. people feel more pride. the only point i would like to make, perhaps it's not nationalism by itself, but it's the question of how asian nations can evolve the right kind of nationalism, which is open, moderate, tolerant and pluralistic nationalism as opposed to narrow-minded and arrogant. nationalism i think is good, but it's just which kind of nationalism are we able to evolve in asia. >> i don't think i could have put that better myself and you're right. that point's taken. our -- you're correct. >> thanks very much for coming and speaking about this topic. you talked a lot about economics
7:39pm
and economic prosperity in the region and particularly focusing on that. i'm wondering how that affects the discussion about human rights, particularly with china. and in your position, will you be purke an investigation about -- [inaudible] >> let me explain my position on human rights. i had legislation some years ago trying to draw on an experience i had in the early 1980's. i was on an exchange program and in east germany at the very time we were changing our strategy with respect to radio free europe and radio liberty. and the surrogate of their free radio to operate there with east germans, instead of the old west german information that was coming in, there was a ransition to using recent east
7:40pm
germans and poles and czeches. as a result of these young people who had their finger on the pulse, giving information real-time about what was going on at the time in eastern europe, i watched the attitudes change. and i had the opportunity in the evenings to listen to east germans tell me about how they were changing their attitude by their totalitarian system and how much they wanted freedom of speech. they were learning about political pluralism and were embracing the concept of a more open and democratic system. and in very short order, that came about. and my hope has always been that our radio free asia legislation -- and i had the legislation to make that permanent, which broadcasts into countries that don't otherwise have a free press, will provide that
7:41pm
opportunity for a surrogate free press. but what's important here is that the voices need to be people, reporters, who are recently from that country who can conduct everything from a dialogue in talk radio, which i have listened into -- by the way, i will add to this, we have also expanded this into north korea in some major ways. you have two factors changing north korea today, one are the broadcasts where north koreans are up on the air explaining what is really happening inside the country on a radio program to move these radios over the border. but interesting also is the impact that south korean -- i call them soap operas, how many of you have seen them on the shows, south korean diagram as? they are rather addictive, but
7:42pm
especially so for north koreans, because when they watch that, they suddenly realize the difference between the prosperity in the south and the dire circumstances that they are in. and they begin to question. so here's the point. over the last 10 years, the attitudes of those defecting from the north to china and i have interviewed many through the years, have really changed with respect to the north korean regime. and the influx of information also across the rest of asia from burma to china -- you know, to vietnam, is changing people's attitudes. so i think the best way to approach this is to allow reporters who are qualified who are recently from those countries to have access and to broadcast in, and that along with trade and investment, i think it's a combination. i think it's a combination.
7:43pm
yes, your question, sir? >> how are you going to respond with the chinese in the n.s.a. and i want to ask about hina human rights issue. china has 13 million forced abortions every year. and china -- big number of xecutions -- [inaudible] >> very large human rights issue. i hope you can talk about the human rights issue more important than trade with china. >> i think that both issues are
7:44pm
important. it is important to economically engage china. i think the evolution in terms of human rights is partly dependent upon what we do to put information into china about what's happening on the ground in real-time in order to expose these types of abuses, and that is best done through radio free asian that is done through other legislation that we have enacted in which we have an institution here on the hill that -- and i'm a member of the hearings that we hold on this issue, which elevate human rights and which gets that information out into the international press. so it's partly getting out the information in the international press. it's partly through the internet, giving the information to press inside china, but it's also partly radio free asia
7:45pm
broadcasting this dialogue about these issues. as this courses through chinese society, we have seen how much china has changed in pretty short order. i remember a discussion that i had with richard nixon on his last trip to the house. and he gave a speech to the house. and because i represented part of his old area, he suggested that i come over to the senate and hear what he had to say. and his focus was on how we could eventually evolve societies towards a respect for we're eals like the ones talking about. and he thought that to ignore the society or try to cut it off probably wouldn't work, but that the engagement strategy might lead to some very real changes
7:46pm
over time. part of that is our responsibility, right? there are journalists here. and the journalists here have the responsibility on these types of human rights issues to broadcast that, to carry that message, to have everyone understand what is really happening. and that pressure is the type of pressure that forces a change within a society. so we routinely discuss these issues. we routinely advocate them in the house of representatives from the forms that we have here. but we're also doing it in country now. yes, sir? >> thank you congressman. i'm with the news agency in hong kong. last month when you visited beijing, you had the opportunity who became the new premier a
7:47pm
couple days ago. what is your impression about our chinese new leader? what will you expect with regard to u.s.-china relations? and up emphasize that the united states should engage more with china. do you think the current mechanism and exchange channels are enough? thank you. >> i will say that i think it is wise to have more exchanges between the parliamentarians here in the united states, between members of congress and china. i will also say, we know the issues that we are pushing for in terms of reform. we want to see a two-way street in terms of trade. we want to see access to markets in china for our exports. we want to see these human rights issues addressed.
7:48pm
we are also hoping to see the types of reforms that will bring about more personal freedom in china. but for all of this dialogue to ccur, it's necessary to have exchanges between officials there and officials in the united states. and it's also necessary, i think, to continue the broadcasting work that i'm talking about. so that people understand the full range of issues that are under discussion. other questions? ambassador, yes. [inaudible] > the b.i.t. being pushed by the united states doesn't include all the countries. all four countries.
7:49pm
doesn't include indonesia and thailand. with the regional comprehensive partnership -- includes all the countries plus china, india, japan, korea, australia and new zealand and this is what seems to be more appealing to the countries. the other thing is that u.s. doesn't have a free trade agreement -- they have free trade agreements with the countries i mentioned. it seems that it is less inclusive. what would you -- your thoughts be. because you are talking about economic prosperity and the larger the grouping, the better. >> well, i think step by step,
7:50pm
ambassador. you look at what we can do here, and i think that we've started the process of t.p.p. it certainly can be expanded. and it's a good framework. we are in negotiations right now that are promising. japan has recently announced its inclusion and i suspect as we go forward, there will be more nations engaged in this process. so i would look at it as just the opening of a strategy which will later be expanded and more inclusive. other questions? yes, sir. >> congressman royce, good morning, sir. i'm southeast asia events working on affairs and you have been extremely kind to us in the
7:51pm
past on the kashmir issue with yourself and tom working with me. i have a different subject. it deals with an issue, bilateral issue between united states and south korea and that deals with the 123 agreement as we call it. and that's an issue that is going back and forth between the state department and the folks in seoul. the question is, as you are the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, has a lot to say of how that gets shaped up. have you formed your views in that regard? >> we are still talking to the administration, still reviewing that agreement. so, no. it's a work in progress. yes, ma'am. >> thank you, chairman. i'm from bloomberg news. could you aalab brown-waite on
7:52pm
the negotiation with north korea and there has been some discussion of trying to level some sanctions against north korea that would maybe follow the model of other countries who had been sanctioned and i would like to know specifically what you have in mind, what could be done in a concrete way. >> first, i want to give credit for under secretary stuart levy who developed the original model back in 2005. and i did a paper, 80-page paper on this at the time in order to try to push the concepts of sanctions that would impact the hard currency, but he developed the model that was deployed on delta bank asia. and what directly led to it was the zrofferry that in macaw, they were using counterfeit
7:53pm
bills that north korea was counterfeiting of our currency and thus we moved very, very quickly and it was enormously effective. the state department later had second thoughts about it because it raised certain issues in north korea and of course the regime at the time approached the state department and said, if you raise this, we'll come back to the negotiating table. we now know in retrospect their efforts at the negotiating table, by the way, were not honest efforts because they were n the process of proliferating their tech noling to syria. they had a carbon copy of their nuclear weapons program that they built in syria. so the strategy deployed by levy probably should have been continued. if it had been given the costs
7:54pm
of the nuclear weapons program and maintaining it is probably the case that it would have ultimately presented the generals in north korea with a choice, the choice of giving up that program and compromising or staying the course and facing implosion. i think the situation today in north korea is much more dire for the regime. i have been in north korea. but i will share with you, as i said before, the opinions of people leaving north korea is now one of having no confidence any longer in that regime. and so it's an ever smaller circle of people. and on top of it, you've got very proper provocative behavior which are calling into question his judgment on the part of the people of north korea, certainly
7:55pm
antagonizing all of asia. and i say all of asia because i know it's causing discomfort in every capital. under these conditions, if we were to simultaneously deploy those controls over the currency, those sanctions, and step up on the anti-proliferation initiative that we had in place before where south korea, united states and other countries were stopping ships that were bringing contraband, bringing illicit exports, contraband -- one of the things they do is meth, they do a lot of drugs. missile parts, armaments, stop those ships on the high seas and send them back, suddenly you have cut off the means of obtaining hard currency. so the legislation that we are
7:56pm
working on will address specifically that approach that was tried in 2005 along with the anti-proliferation activities to interdict. over on this side. yes, ma'am. >> thank you so much for your excellent presentation about the near west. i really enjoyed it. this is a follow-up question on the sanctions. to impose economic sanctions, one of the most important gatekeepers is china. how do you reconcile your outlined approach to china with a more aggressive sanctions against north korea? >> i do think that china is losing its patience to a certain extent with north korea. and i think that one of the things that weighs heavily obey jing's mind is the consequences
7:57pm
to an arms race all across east asia. and because of that, i think at is why china originally communicated to north korea not to do the missile test and subsequently not to do the nuclear test. but clearly this young man is very aggressive. he's out of step certainly with world opinion. nd i think we've got a growing unanmity in terms of the conclusion that this kind of conduct is not in anyone's interest. and that's why i think we might see less subsidy from china into north korea and more messages like the ones that we saw on the issue of the nuclear test and
7:58pm
the icbm test. >> one more question. >> sure. go ahead. >> thank you, chairman royce. you talked about u.s. engagement with china. but as you know since the obama the policy seen by chinese as containment to china. i'm wondering what your feeling is u.s. should do to increase -- as a result of that view helped by the chinese. i think this increase of strategic mistrust between the china and united states. what should the united states do to change that? >> i think, yes, i think one of the things we can do is focus again on economic activity, focus upon the cornerstone of what's led to the dramatic
7:59pm
prosperity and increase of wealth creation around the world. and if that focus can be on trade and investment and the protection of property rights, the basic issue of the undation of economic prosperity, i think that's something that resonates. and i think that's the way we explain why it is we want to see the reforms. the reforms we're asking for as we engage with countries around the world are reforms that actually benefit the populous in those countries. it's not just that a rising tide lifts all boats in terms of economic trade and liberalized markets. it's also the fact that economic reforms that empower

Terms of Use (10 Mar 2001)